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Zain Shareholder Sues to Block Sale to Etisalat

Zain Shareholder Sues to Block Sale to Etisalat

­A shareholder in Kuwait’s Zain has filed a lawsuit to stop the due diligence in a planned sale of a controlling stake in the company to the UAE’s Etisalat for around US$12 billion. Sheikh Khalifa Ali al-Khalifa al-Sabah, whose brother is head of Al Fawares Holding, the shareholder taking the legal action, told the Reuters news agency he understood a court date had been set.

“I think Dec. 8 has been set for hearing the urgent part of it, which is a request to halt the board members’ decision to open books to Etisalat,” he told Reuters.

Kharafi Group, one of Zain’s major shareholders, has previously said it gathered enough approvals from shareholders to sell their combined stake to Etisalat. As some 10 percent of Zain shares are held as treasury stock, the 46% holding would give Etisalat effective control of the company.

“Without an official offer, how can you open the books?,” Sheikh Khalifa told Reuters in an interview. “Our aim is not to stop the deal, our aim is to stop opening the books. The agreement is not obligatory and based on that, books should not be opened.”

On the web: Reuters

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